Teen denies attack on vulnerable man

Preston crown court
Preston crown court
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A teenager has told a court he had never seen a man who was badly beaten and set alight until the day after the man was attacked.

John Nugent, 29, was subjected to a savage attack in Blackpool in which he claims five men set upon him and set his face on fire, Preston Crown Court heard.

Did you feel like you needed to go along with what the bigger men were doing?

But Josh Rollinson, 18, denies he was at the flat in Church Street, Blackpool, when the victim was attacked on February 7, this year.

He says the first time he met the victim was the following day at the News and Booze Shop when he asked Mr Nugent to buy cigarettes for him.

From the witness box at Preston Crown Court, Rollinson, of King Street, Blackpool said: “I hadn’t met him. I didn’t know him.”

Rollinson is one of five men accused of causing grievous bodily harm to the victim.

He is also accused of offering the victim money when he saw him the next day in the shop, asking him: “What will it take for this to go away?”

But Rollinson denies he was trying to buy his victim’s silence and says CCTV footage taken from the area shows him simply asking the victimto buy him cigarettes.

Another defendant, Allan Smith, told police Rollinson was at the flat, but the teenager maintained his story that he did not know his co-defendants, had never met Mr Nugent, and did not know anything about the flat - which was said to be linked to drugs.

Jon Close, prosecuting, asked him: “Did you feel like you needed to go along with what the bigger men were doing?” Rollinson replied: “No.”

The victim was found stumbling in the street by motorist.

His eyes were badly swollen and shut, there was blood coming from his mouth and his nose was running.

David Potts, 32, of Salthouse Avenue, Blackpool, Josh Rollinson, 18, of King Street, Blackpool, Allan Smith, 37, of Lynn Grove, Blackpool, Andrew Southern, 36, of Lynn Grove, Blackpool and Jonathan Stemburski, 35, of Church Street, Blackpool deny grievious bodily harm and false imprisonment at Preston Crown Court.

The prosecution say the victim was held captive and attacked in Jonathan Stemburski’s flat by five men.

(Proceeding)

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